**** Canadian Blood Services Info
About an hour of your time could change someone’s life.
Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care including major surgeries, medical procedures, cancer treatments and managing diseases and disorders. As a blood donor you form a vital link in Canada’s lifeline, helping many Canadians wake up healthy each day.
Every component has a job to do…
Whole Blood is made up of four separate components that can be transfused separately or together to treat various conditions.
- Red blood cells carry oxygen to the organs and tissues and removes carbon dioxide through the lungs. It is used during emergencies, surgeries and cancer treatments.
- White blood cells protect the body from infection. They can also carry viruses and bacteria and, for this reason, are removed from any donated blood.
- Plasma is a liquid component that carries nutrients to all parts of the body and carries waste products out of the body, acting like a cell transportation system. It is also rich in vital proteins used to treat patients undergoing extensive surgery or trauma, and patients with bleeding disorders.
- Platelets provide the basis for clotting, which helps control bleeding. It is used to treat patients with bleeding disorders and cancer.
All our blood cells are produced by our bone marrow – our body’s blood cell factory.
Do you know your blood type?
Everyone has a type, and you belong to one of four: O, A, B and AB. An additional factor — the ‘Rh factor’ — determines whether your type is positive or negative. When you donate, we test your blood to identify exactly which type you belong to. This is important because a recipient’s blood type determines what blood type they can receive.
Becoming a donor
Thinking about becoming a first-time donor? Here are a few simple steps to you get started:
- Find out if you’re eligible. Take the quiz and learn more about the ABCs of eligibility.
- Find a donor centre near you.
- Book an appointment. Booking in advance helps our clinic run smoothly and also helps us ensure your first donation experience is a good one.
- Learn more about our process.
Still have questions? Sign up for more information by email or call to speak with one of our trained healthcare professionals at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).